Filtered water: is it necessary?

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Compared to the 2 billion people on the planet contending with contaminated water, we’re blessed to have tap water that is plentiful and safe. In fact, Canberrans are known to be drinking some of the best water in Australia, with a local sample awarded the best tap water for the ACT and NSW in 2017.

With Wesley Smith Director, Live Well Spa & Wellness Centre

Dirtier than it looks

Whilst Canberra water is drawn out of the pristine Cotter catchment, it must first be sanitised to kill off any bacteria and viruses that it may contain and dosed with fluoride to combat tooth decay. Then, it’s sent through tunnels and pipes of varying ages and quality absorbing concrete, plastic and metals until it comes out of your tap. At this point the water contains chlorine, fluorine compounds, Trihalomethanes (which are formed when chlorine reacts with natural organic matter), assorted hormones, pesticides and even trace amounts of prescription drugs.

Bottled gold

At almost 2,000 times the price of tap water, bottled water is no bargain; however, we’re apparently willing to pay more for convenience and the perception of quality. Marketed with images of a pristine lakes and snow-capped mountains, bottled water looks good but belies the fact that tap water needs to meet much more stringent quality criteria and is monitored far more carefully than bottled water. Bottled water also commonly contains toxic microplastic particles that are produced in the bottling process. However, the most compelling reason to ditch bottled water is the massive environmental cost of manufacturing, transporting and then the disposal of plastic bottles – a staggering one million a minute globally.

Get filtering

There are many options including under counter, counter top and water jug filters. Depending on your space and budget, you can find a solution that is perfect for you and your family. If you buy a reusable water bottle and spend the money you would normally spend on bottled water on a water filter, you will be helping the environment, saving money and supporting your wellbeing.

Editor’s note: Our rotating wellbeing and fitness columns provide advice that is general in nature. Please always refer to your preferred health professional for advice suited to your personal healthcare requirements.

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